Premier League | Easy outing for United

Manchester United cruised to a morale-boosting 3-1 win against Burnley on the eve of Alex Ferguson’s 80th birthday on Thursday to strengthen its push for a Premier League top-four finish.

Scott McTominay put United in front early and a Ben Mee own goal doubled its lead before Cristiano Ronaldo finished impudently to put Ralf Rangnick’s men 3-0 up. Veteran winger Aaron Lennon punctured the party atmosphere at Old Trafford towards the end of the first half, giving Sean Dyche’s struggling Burnley hope, but United largely bossed the second period.

The Red Devils are now four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal with a game in hand after interim manager Rangnick shook up his team following a disappointing draw at Newcastle.

Rangnick, still unbeaten since taking over from the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, made six changes, shuffling his defence and starting Jadon Sancho and Edinson Cavani in attack.

Bruno Fernandes was suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card.

United opened the scoring in the eighth minute, when Mason Greenwood cut the ball back to the edge of the box, where Ronaldo’s first touch fell for McTominay, who hit a sweet right-footed shot past Wayne Hennessey.

The home side extended its advantage in the 27th minute in front of former manager Ferguson, who was at the helm the last time it won the Premier League, in 2013.

Sancho was freed on the left by Shaw and the former Borussia Dortmund player cut inside onto his right foot before hitting a low strike that nestled in the corner via a slight touch from Burnley captain Mee.

A superb McTominay effort was met by a similarly impressive stop by the flying Hennessey, who tipped the strike onto a post only for Ronaldo to react by flicking the loose ball into an empty net with the outside of his right boot.

The result: Manchester United 3 (McTominay 8, Mee 27-og, Ronaldo 35) bt Burnley 1 (Lennon 38).

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